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  • Amber to the rear

    I can remember there being a code requirement for amber to the rear on all newly purchased fire apparatus. I was told last night by a salesman that according to the new spec, it is not required.

    I looked at NFPA 1901, 2003 edition and could not find it anywhere in there. I am almost certain that it has been a requirement in the past as we have seen many fire trucks manufactured with this light to the rear.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you
    ANG Fireman
    check out our website: www.firstduefiresupply.com

  • #2
    Well, I'm not sure of the exact details, but I'm sure someone will jump in and inform you of them. I do know it is not required to have amber, but there is a required candle power (or lumens?) and amber is the easy way to accomplish that. I'm not sure on the numbers of this either. Someone care to fill us in???

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    • #3
      I believe if you look at the Whelen / Code 3 / Tomar / other large light company website they will give multiple examples of "their" lighting packages that meet NFPA 1901 / DOT Code.

      I think they may even explain the lumens etc requirements if you look around a bit.

      I seem to remember a similar thread a week or so ago... may have more info on it... try searching for amber light or something similar.

      It was Need Help NFPA 1901.....making me nuts thread can't copy the link...
      Last edited by ChiefDog; 11-15-2006, 05:37 PM.

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      • #4
        amber

        If memory serves me at all, the amber at the rear is strictly DOT and not NFPA. We use the Code 3 Arrowstick at the middle rear. Amber rotators or strobes or LED's are not required as long as there is an amber system at the rear and the Arrowstick or any other equivelant is great because it suffices the amber requirement and provides traffic direction. On call just run the stick with the center to outside control and at scene place it in the direction you want traffic to go. You are now free to have red, blue or whatever color your state requires for emergency lighting where the amber systems used to be which are usually at the upper level rear.Hope this helps.

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        • #5
          The only thing I could find in 1901 is in 13.8.12. According to the table it refers to, red can be used in any zone (Zone A is front, B is pass side, C rear, D drivers side), Blue in any zone when calling for right-of-way or when blocking right-of-way. Yellow can be in any zone except A when calling for right-of-way and any zone when blocking. White in any zone except C when calling for right-of-way, and not permitted when blocking.

          I know there's been a bigger push (see USFA's Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative) to use yellow with the theory that motorists pay less attention to yellow lights (thinking they're work crews) than they do gawking at the red and blues.

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          • #6
            a min of one amber was required but now is not. by the way, i do not beleive an amber led flasher on the rear is allowed as part of the nfpa lighting package because the light output of led amber is lower than required. in fact the amber led is much intense than amber halogen and strobe.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ffp8106
              a min of one amber was required but now is not. by the way, i do not beleive an amber led flasher on the rear is allowed as part of the nfpa lighting package because the light output of led amber is lower than required. in fact the amber led is much intense than amber halogen and strobe.
              Huh?

              You can use amber LED's to the rear as part of a warning package. It's not about the individual lights, but about the combined light output per zone.

              I've never heard of not using amber LEDs in the rear and I install this stuff professionally.
              Originally posted by ThNozzleMan
              Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

              I A C O J
              FTM-PTB


              Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

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              • #8
                just look at the code 3 and whelen literature, in particular the nfpa package literature, i do not find amber leds for rear zones.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ffp8106
                  just look at the code 3 and whelen literature, in particular the nfpa package literature, i do not find amber leds for rear zones.
                  Its not because their less "bright". It could be that generally speaking Fire Dept. vehicles were all red, white or blue lit. Amber has been proven over and over to be the most visible warning light. I know our new tower has an LED arrowstick on the rear that completely drowns out a the red LED flashers, the blue halogen rotator and the amber halogen rotator. Its all you can see when the warning flash is truned on.

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                  • #10
                    You most certainly can have amber LEDs in the rear. I'm not going to make the trip up to the 'house just to get 1901... but there is absolutely nothing preventing it. The warning systems aren't rated by what color light is where. It's done by rating the total power of the "zone". If they can meet the power of the zone with all red, more power to them. Obviously that's what they are doing. Several new deliveries from manufacturers are coming with almost 100% amber rear lighting.

                    All in all, each color of LED has it's draw backs. They're meeting the zone requirements with red. Amber is still available if you request it.
                    Originally posted by ThNozzleMan
                    Why? Because we are firemen. We are decent human beings. We would be compelled by the overwhelming impulse to save an innocent child from a tragic, painful death because in the end, we are MEN.

                    I A C O J
                    FTM-PTB


                    Honorary Disclaimer: While I am a manufacturer representative, I am not here to sell my product. Any advice or knowledge shared is for informational purposes only. I do not use Firehouse.Com for promotional purposes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok, here is the real facts. NFPA requires a certain candlepower based on either responding or on-scene (calling for right of way or blocking the right of way). That rear facing zone's candlepower can be achieved using any combination of red, blue, or amber lights. Again, that is any combination of red and/or blue and/or amber lights.

                      You get more candlepower from an amber strobe or halogen light than you do from an identical red or blue light. This is the main reason why you see big amberl lights installed on the top rear of apparatus by all the manufactuers. Making them all red would require additional lightheads to make up for the reduced candlepower.

                      Yes, amber does also have the added benefit of being the "caution" color and penetrating weather better than red or blue. However, NFPA only cares about candlepower.

                      Any state law regulating color of lights can further restrict what you put on your appratus. If for example, state law prohibits blue on anything by police vehicles, then you would need to take that into concideration in your specs. If your state law for some reason prohibits amber on fire apparatus, you would need to add more red lights.

                      Whatever your local restrictions are, no manufacturer is going to build a truck that does not meet NFPA specs.
                      Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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                      • #12
                        An arrowstix or other traffic director does not meet the NFPA requirement. All of the lights must be either "upper" or "lower" zone which a traffic directing light isn't.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Lightbar

                          Does the rule of no directors still apply if it is an amber lightbar mounted up high? I assume this device would have suffcient candlepower.
                          http://emtbravophotos.com/NewDeliveries/BOT19.jpg

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by skipatrol8
                            Does the rule of no directors still apply if it is an amber lightbar mounted up high? I assume this device would have suffcient candlepower.
                            http://emtbravophotos.com/NewDeliveries/BOT19.jpg
                            I don't think he's saying that you're not allowed directors (I think that's what you're asking), he's just saying they don't meet the requirement for NFPA's lighting. Basically, you can't have just the arrow stick, you have to have the warning lights (which are present). The arrow stick is just an accessory.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Go to NFPA 1901 11-8 starting on page 25. Use amber lighting if you want as long as the candela-seconds/minute are met. What my point was is that amber is not an absolute requirement for emergency lighting if another color meets the standard. With the new LED systems things are much easier. Don't forget to check out 11-8.7 of the standard. Also the zone requirements tell you which color is acceptable for a particualr zone.

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